It is always fun learning about a new winery and then making plans to visit it. Chapelton Vineyards is located in Washington, Texas. If you’re not aware of the town of Washington, it’s between Navasota and Brenham in southeast Texas. The winery is owned by Kurt and Michelle Lyn and opened in 2022.
I gathered my gang of Texas wine lovers and we left Houston on a Saturday for a one-hour drive. With the extension of TX-249 past Tomball, the new road made it a very easy drive. As we got close to the winery according to the GPS, the countryside and roads became more rural, and I heard some people in the car asking, “Where are we going?” As soon as I pulled into the entrance to Chapelton Vineyards at Lyn Ranch, those questions turned into “Ooh” and “Aah.”
The two-story tasting room has tables on both floors available for wine tasting and the center tasting bar on the first floor is inviting. We were told we could explore the tasting room and select a table anywhere. The first floor showed the production area behind glass windows, and we learned that is also visible from the second floor looking down.
The second-floor tables all had white tablecloths and the women in my group decided that was where we were going to do our tastings. But first, we visited the second-floor balcony that overlooks the vineyard and the rest of the property. The vineyard is currently growing Blanc du Bois, Tempranillo, and Merlot. There is also a vineyard of Black Spanish growing at a vineyard a couple of miles from the winery.
We sat at a table and met general manager Allie Ferguson. There are five different flights from which you can select, and our two couples decided to both select the Ultimate Flight allowing us to taste every wine.
We selected a charcuterie plate before our tasting arrived and had a nice selection of cheeses, meats, nuts, and more. These are the wines that were available at the time of our visit:
- Texas White Blend (they had just sold out of this earlier in the morning, so we did not have a chance to taste it. They were getting more in two weeks, so they were giving double tastings of one’s favorite of the other wines.)
- Texas Red Blend (60% Tempranillo, 40% Merlot)
- 2015 Merlot (Washington)
- 2016 Meritage (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Malbec) – California
- Sparkling Rosé (mix of the White Blend and Red Blend) – off-dry
The winery was going to be harvesting their first vintage of Blanc du Bois the following week and they were excited. In fact, they had done some training that morning and some sample grapes were picked, and we were able to taste a sampling of the grapes to be harvested.
We met co-owner Kurt Lyn during our tasting walking around and greeting all the other wine lovers. Near the end of our tasting, he gathered some people together to give a winery tour. In the production area, we learned that the winery eventually plans on doing all their production at the winery, but they are currently using Texas Custom Wine Works to provide their wines with winemaker Patrick Johnson providing years of expertise.
Kurt is admittingly still learning about wine and we learned during a visit to Spain, that he and his wife decided they needed to open a winery and grow a vineyard, especially with Tempranillo. One thing that was surprising is he promised himself when opening the winery that he would never drink wine there. Instead, he would take the wine off-property to his home to drink. That takes courage!
Our entire group was very impressed with the new Chapelton Vineyards both with the winery and the wines. Personally, after visiting almost 450 Texas wineries over the years, Chapelton Vineyards might have the most impressive tasting room, and I know we all cannot wait to return.